When a client is done with their breathing exercises, I can hear their nervous system submitting; "Okay, I’m ready to learn."
This response is quite an improvement from the initial, "I have no idea what I’m doing here, I’m just trying to survive!" that I hear from their nervous systems when clients first arrive.
I feel a connection with the nervous system, like it’s my job to calm it down. I want to make it feel safe and receptive to learning. At J&M, we also focus extensively on setting our clients up for successful training by starting them off with a solid foundation.
What I need from my clients is concentration. There are two different types of attention, purposeful attention and reactive. If I’m trying to change the way my clients move, it’s important that they’re giving me their purposeful attention. Purposeful attention only occurs when the body feels calm and safe. This is when the body is able to access learning.
Reactive attention, on the other hand, is reached through fight-or-flight. When our clients walk in it is their reactive attention that is most active, this why I hear their nervous systems yelling, "Get me the duck out of here!"
The only thing the client’s brain is concerned about in this state is surviving.
So what do we do? How do we get people out of Fight or Flight?
The answer is pretty simple; it’s all about respecting the brain and nervous system!
Through breathing exercises, clients are able to switch out of fight or flight in as few as 2-3 minutes! Once their correct nervous system is active, they’re prepared to go through their warm-up and extended warm-up with a brain that is ready to learn!
I encourage setting them up on the ground, because this is where they can achieve proprioception all over! More often than not, clients come in after they’ve been running around all day, stressing out over their kids, spouse, or stupid job. I just want them to feel safe.
Jared always breathes before his training session!
It’s the smart bro way to do it.
Hopefully at this point you are interested enough to be thinking about how you should design your warm up!
Whether you want to be extremely strong, like Jimbo,
Or you’re just trying to look good and feel good.
Your warm-up should always prepare your body for learning by reinforcing certain movement patterns.
Start flat on the floor and progress from there.
It’s all about feeling safe. If you’re nervous system is freaking out it’s not going to feel safe squatting right off the bat.
A Quick example:
- Supine or prone breathing (giving people a CHOICE can make a huge difference)
- Supine Cross Connecting
- Shoulder blade retraction
- Rolling (Upper or lower body)
- Glute Bridge
- Quadruped Pelvic Tilt
- Bird-dog Cross Connect
- Baby Crawling
- Kneeling Rotation
- Corrective (Given to each client after a FMS screen)
And just like that, you’ve hit almost everything the body needs.
Different people need certain exercises more than others. If a client finds that an exercise during our warm-up is challenging, I encourage them be work on it every day.
Most of these exercises I got from SGT Building A Foundation. This product is great! It takes you through everything you need to know to help your clients learn functional movement skills.
Using something like the FMS will let you know what you need the most, and that is what you want to focus on.
I know. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the simple things in life are often the easiest to overlook!
Learn how to breathe. Learn how to move. Get strong. And most importantly, learn how to take care of yourself!
Doing a warm-up like this right before you train each day will help you tremendously!
We tell all our clients when they first sign up, "The better you move, the more we can do with you".
It all comes back to building a solid foundation!
If you’re running through your warm-up huffing and puffing, your nervous system is going to be on high alert and it’s going to take a while before those movement patterns start to stick.
Like Jim Laird always says, "You need to work IN so you can work out", a concept he will be addressing here next week!!
Thank you for reading!